Medical Professionals Women and Cancer…Part 1
Ocean Hematology & Oncology
What You Need To Know
Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health is coordinating a week-long observance celebrated nationwide as Women’s Health Awareness Week. The aim is to empower women to improve their physical and mental health. THERE ARE A FEW IMPORTANT STEPS WOMEN MUST TAKE IN THE ROAD TO HEALTH: • Get active. • Visit a health care professional regularly for check-ups and preventive screenings.
• Eat healthy.
• Pay attention to mental health, which includes getting enough sleep and managing stress.
• Avoid unhealthy behavior.
One of the major diseases affecting women is cancer, which kills more than a quarter million women every year in the U.S. But that number could be reduced through early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Some cancers affect both men and women while others are unique to women. They include breast cancer[note that breast cancer is NOT unique to women, men get it too] (the most common in the U.S.) as well as cancer of the ovaries, cervix, uterus and external genitalia. That is the group we will focus on here.
Cervical Cancer Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women worldwide. More than 85% occur in developing countries, but it is also among the top ten causes of cancer deaths among women in the U.S. Over 95% of cases are linked to a sexually transmitted virus called HPV (human papilloma virus). Risk factors include early and promiscuous sexual activity, smoking, prolonged use of birth control pills, STDs, and immunosuppression. In its early stages, this disease can be asymptomatic. Symptoms in later stages include bloody vaginal discharge, pain, and abnormal vaginal bleeding (in between regular menstrual cycles, post-coital, and post-menopausal).
Screening and Early Detection The good news is that screening and early detection can prevent deaths from cervical cancer. Both cervical cancer and pre-cancerous lesions can be detected by doing PAP smears. Women should start routine PAP tests at 21 years of age. Between the ages of 21 and 29, they should have the test every two years; between 30 and 65, every five years; and over 65, they may discontinue screening if they have had: • Three negative pap tests in a row; • Regular pap tests; • No abnormal pap tests in 10 years. If a total hysterectomy is performed for benign reasons, there’s no need for PAP testing afterwards; if done for cancer, or if cervix is left behind, screening should be continued.
HPV Vaccination Another good piece of news is that there are two very effective vaccines – Gardasil and Cervarix – that will prevent those cases of cervical cancer that are linked to HPV. The vaccine is given to females between the ages of 9 and 26 years, and to males between 9 and 21. It’s given in three doses, ideally before the person has become sexually active. Please note: vaccinated women still need screening! Side effects include mild redness, tenderness and swelling at the injection site, as well as an increased risk of blood clots, but no long-term side effects have been reported.
Compassionate Care, Close to Home We offer a full range of Hematology and Oncology services. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art cancer care in a warm and personalized manner. Our newly renovated, spacious infusion room provides a peaceful and friendly atmosphere to patients while they receive chemotherapy and other infusions. We have a highly qualified, experienced and compassionate staff.
Easily Accessible Location!
1255 Route 70, 31S Near Exit 89 on GSP
Lakewood, NJ 08701 Accepts Most Insurances. Affiliated with Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus Access to Clinical Trials.
Stay tuned for part-two of this two-part series in the March/April issue. Next issue we will discuss cancer of the uterus.
To learn more about treatment of cancer, contact Dr. Sarah J. Easaw at 732-961-0010.
The County Woman Magazine www.TheCountyWoman.com
Sarah J. Easaw MD, FACP
Diplomate of the American Board of Hematology, Oncology & Internal Medicine
Published on Jan 4, 2018
Published on Jan 4, 2018
The County Woman ™ is part of a nationally syndicated publication and has been around for over 31 years. There are over 371 other counties t...